London

VIDEO: Akira The Don - Video Highway (Unreleased 2009 Version)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZmZbo3c49A Well look what I just found on an old harddrive while I was looking for this footage of Narstie and Littles fighting over  carton of juice I wanted to upload cos it's flipping hilarious! It's the unreleased, not quite finished 2009 Video Highway video! OMFG!

In 2009 Video Highway was gonna come out as The Life Equation's first single, then it got nixed at the last minute cos we couldn't clear the sample. This video was shot entirely on a Kodak Zi60 (basically an early Flip cam) by me, Joey2tits and Michael Kinsella perks, and edited by me in Sony Vegas. It co-stars Mary Turner, whose voice you can hear on the song (and on lots of my other songs). It never got finished (the synch's off a lot), but I thought you might like to see it.

You can watch the official 2012 Video Highway video here (or at the bottom of this page), and you can cop the final version with the replaced sample on The Life Equation on iTunes and in the Don shop.

Now let's see what other nuggets we can find on this ole drive...

PAX!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj2ALFGwuW8&feature=player_embedded

The Science of Inspiration

http://youtu.be/gqlpSlPsN_Y Over the years I have had the following question, or versions of it, a lot:

And so, in this week's Vlog, recorded in a nice field in Kent when I went wandering off during a wedding and wrote some songs over the sound of the echoing disco, I answer that question!

Enjoy. And if you have any of your own questions for future Vlogs, do let me know.

Meanwhile, I had one of the loveliest days in London I've had in ages today. I was treated to free celebratory coffees by my all knowing barristo (barristos are much more intuative than psychics), I edited that vlog up there, then I got on a train and ran all the way up Crouch Hill for a delicious luncheon of chicken wings and barbecue sauce with my little brother Alexander Velky and his daughter Sybil, who was amazingly well behaved and didn't throw bits of carrot at the barstaff once.

I then went two stops down the line, running into Video Highway starlett and very tattooed latex clothing designing superstar Nina Kate along the way, which was most fortuitous as I'd been meaning to ring her to find out who's the best person to ink comic book tattoos these days. Natrually she was on route to visit the wife of a tattooist who also happnes to draw for Marvel comics. Pow.

I met BJ, my Godson Kio, and his big brother Hanzo in Gospel Oak (see above). Hanzo was most enamoured with my glasses, but didn't want to paddle, and repeated as much until we stopped trying to get him to paddle and went for a nice walk up a hill, upon which we truned around and were stunned by a panoramic view of London, which momentarily stunned us all.

After that I went to Camden to find birthday presents for my six year old neice Sophie Ella De Bun Bun. The place felt more magical than it has since I was first there 14 years ago, full of wonder at the stalls and the punks and the Good Mixer, whihc i'd spent my teens reading and dreaming about. Camden seemed to be dusted with magic today, perfect shops I'm sure never existed before popped up like they do in Terry Pratchett novels and supplied wonderful gifts, I had the best smoothie I think I've had that wasn't made by me, and I couldn't go five paces without someone stopping to say hi and complement me on my glasses, or my last mixtape.

Now the sun is setting over Nu Olympia, my beautiful wife, just back the future Mrs Velky's hen night, is radiating happily on the sofa sharing Good News with her sister, and my little brother Zef Cherry Kynaston and his fine young lady person Kelly, who recently moved down from Cornwall to a nice flat a few miles up the road are on their way over to spend the evening with us.

Scrub that, they just turned up, raving about the cable car they took from Victoria to Greenwich this afternoon, so I better go. I realise as I write this that my family, and London, are both things I have taken for granted somewhat over the years. So let me say right now, while this clarity is upon me, I love you Family, and I love you London.

PAX!

@!

ADVENT 19: Akira The Don - A Very Merry Ho Ho Ho (Official Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aWHbMch1xc&feature=colike HO HO HO GANG!

Me and Mighty Tom Coles done made you a super special CHRISTMAS POP VIDEO! It's for my Saturnalin JOY ANTHEM A Very Merry Ho Ho Ho, from my acclaimed Christmas LP Saturnalia Superman, and it is about the Christmassiest thing you will see this side of an elf birth in a toy factory deced out as a manger.

We shot it in London last week and visited a few of my favourite Christmas spots, including ridonculous toy shop HAMLEYS, where I found a load of sweet Thundercats toys to play with, and The Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, where we met a talking tree, and loads of safe Christmas revelers who were only too happy to party with us.

Thanks to everyone who appears in the video! And thanks of course to my supremely talented DIrector of Photography, Mighty Tom Coles. Follow him on Twitter here and be nice to him, he's new in that particular town.

Right, I'm off to cook up more HO HO HO. I also intend to make one more Christmas video. But what song should it be for?

The Second Golden Age Of The Internet

Yesterday the skies opened up over London like a slashed belly and obnoxiously ushered in Autumn, as if we were under any illusions what time it was. I happened to be out of Don Studios on a bicycle at the time (I say "a" and not "my" as mine got a puncture so I rode my wife's, which is half the weight and has goddamn suspension), visiting my little brother Zef on Brick Lane, where he'd been for a job interview. Zef, after years of happy playtime at University in Falmouth, is finally being forced into the so-called Real World, where he must support his Italo Disco-loving ass with Real Work.

Luckily, his cheeky Ceefax recollecting Zeefax CV went mini-viral the other week, so he's not short of offers from big London design companies that want to mine his talents and take all his ideas for their own, in exchange for monthly transfers of digital of currency, which the young man will swiftly pass on to landlords and supermarkets and pubs.

Zef and I met in the Owl and The Pussycat, which, a decade ago, was my local. I was an editor at PlayLouder.com (R.I.P.), Europe's second biggest music website at the time, and earning 20p a word to write eight thousand world long articles about the ODB's criminal history and suchlike. It was the golden age of the internet, when seemingly anyone with a modem and a basic grasp of HTML could convince rich fools to write them crisp, rectangular checks with many zeroes on them, which would swiftly be banked and passed on to excitable and aspirational young fiends like myself. They said we were the New Rockstars, and we ran amok on Brick Lane with bottles of whiskey and liquid acid, causing terrible havoc and getting in everybody's faces with little cassette recorders all in the name of "content".

Now they tell me the only people making money out of the internet are in advertising and marketing, and young graphic designers like my little brother Zef are the New Rockstars, but I'm doing fine thank you (why not buy yourself a Living In The Future Hat or a Swag Bag?), and am proud of my little brother, who started his journey with me on the Drinking Song video early in the last decade, and whose future looks brighter than the light at the end of the tunnel, which is definitely sunshine and certainly not a train, no matter wat you doom mongers say.

2012 is about a consciousness shift and an evolution of humanity, not the end of the world. That and the staged alien invasion at the Olympic Games, obviously. It will usher in The Second Golden Age Of The Internet, signalling the death of web 2.0 homogeny, and a new era of creativity. There has not been a genuinely distinct new musical genre since hip-hop (can you think of one?). Since the birth of the internet culture has merely reprocessed, regurgitated, rehashed and remixed all the culture that came before. There are many reasons for this, and Zef and I have both been as guilty of this as anyone, but all this is going to change. New forms are on the horizon. I can't wait.

"You'd have to a crazy absynth swigging weirdo to create something genuinely new," lamented Zef over a pint yesterday. "Maybe we need new drugs. Has anyone ever made anything good on Meth?"

"Nope", I said. "Drugs have been having the same problems as culture. They're all just increasingly chemical, poisonous and derivative takes on existing drugs. There hasn't been a genuinely new drug since ecstasy."

"I wanna work for Jedward," said Zef. "If there's anything to take from this meeting its that I love Jedward. I think that we can all learn something from Jedward."

Indeed.

In other news, Pixel was round last night. We recorded some Manga Music for The Manga Mixtape. It's an amazing, vast, epic record, and instantly one of my favorites. I played Pixel some of the songs. He was impressed.

"Manga Muzic on the way from @akirathedon real soon," he tweeted. "From what I've heard, shit in bananas. #sheesh"

I am assuming he meant to say "is". Ether that or the music is so good he advises we all shit in some bananas. I've heard worse ideas, if I'm honest.

 

 

 

Hulk Hogan Vs The UK Riots!

See! Great art comes from tragedy!

Shout out High Rankin, who suggested I draw the mental image given to me by Richard Bacon and Hulk Hogan's conversation regarding the UK riots on the BBC today.

Dreams can come true.

Peace and love to all my people.

Hulk Hugan on UK Riots (mp3)

PS - if you fancy taking your mind of the craziness, you can read about the comics I've been reading lately over at Robot 6. Comics are very good in times of trouble. Give them a try!

Hackney

Just back from Hackey. Mare Street was a mess of broken glass and smashed bricks. Masked kids wandered around lazilly smashing windows and peeling off metal shutters like margarine tub lids. The only police I saw for 8 blocks were guarding the JD Sports. "Bethnal Green next!" shouted some kids, and ran north. "I'm fucked!" crowed a chubby crackhead-looking lady with four bottles of under her arm. She wasn't lying.

I met some nice people as I cycled through my dystopia. Shout out them. I also took some shitty photos with my telephone. Forsooth:

Aoooo! Squirrels Of London!

So, I just had a lovely day out in central London with my Mam. We went to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, which is one of those dope-ass German Christmas festivals, with rides and wooden huts selling mulled wine and venison burgers and stuff. It was beautiful. We sat on a bench to eat our venison burgers - with cranberry - and watched pigeons and rats and squirrels scamper about in search of chips. I told my Mum about how I'd seen a tweet from Andrew WK last week in which he declared his lifelong ambition to cuddle a wild squirrel.

We finished our burgers, binned the rubbish, and sat a while, enjoying their display. One squirrel in particular caught my eye. A friend of his had been doing a very good meercat impression, but this guy wasn't so crude, so clownish. He had that glint in his eye... the one that says "I KNOW THINGS". Then suddenly, as if in a dream, he was at my feet, head slightly cocked, glinting, and before I knew what was happening he was scrambling up my leg. I don't know what he wanted - squirrels don't like Pepsi, and I didn't have any food left. (Maybe he was warning me that having that Pepsi - my first in months - was the start of a slippery slope.) He got half way up and stared at me, then continued his climb. He stared again, and a little crowd gathered in amazement. Their cries startled him, and he darted off, quick as The Flash.

We sat, in wonderment. I have never know a squirrel so bold! We wished we'd been able to get a photo, and wondered if he'd return. My mum readied her iPhone 3G and her fancy schamncy photo app, just in case.

And, lo, he did return, employing the same magical manoeuvres as previously!

As you can see above.

Any child could tell you that squirrels, like rats and pigeons (and beavers), are divine creatures. Truly, today, we walked with the gods.

Merry Christmas, every one!

DON DOES PARIS!

Boulangerie indeed, ladies and Gs, and merry Christmas too while we're at it. Yes, it is true, I surprised my beloved with a trip to Paris last week, which is a brilliant and super-romantic thing to do and I urge you all to do it, as we really did have a gay old time.

As you know from when I was leaving, my girl knew nothing about it and thus went out and got flipping slaughtered, and she was still pissed when we boarded the plane. Tragically for her, the inevitable hangover kicked in with all the brute f0rce of a fleet of cotdang TANKS just before we landed, but the excitement carried her through and she did not punch anyone in the eye or anything. My good buddy superproducer Stephen "Winlord" Hague had hooked us up with some sweet ass digs bang in the heart of the city, and advised us to take cabs everywhere because "they're piss cheap". It was when the cabbie's meter crossed the €50 line that I remembered that Stephen and I exist in different tax brackets for now. Nothing in Paris is cheap (apart from shoes) - we got licked €6.10 for a half liter bottle of water in one joint. "These Parisians are crazy!" I said, tapping my head, which was an hilarious Asterix joke that only I got.

Still, my girl was so happy to have been taken to Paris she let my bad jokes pass without comment for the whole first day. Here she is, bowling merrily down Rue Des Archives, like that Haters Gonna Hate guy.

That was on route to the Gay bit and the Jew bit, which are handily right next to each other, and equally splendid. The Jew bit in particular was super awesome. We enjoyed the Best Ice Cream In The World (they use a flipping spatula to carve a multi-flavoured ice cream sculpture atop the cone, sod your gaudy scoop), and I picked up not one, but TWO pairs of amazing steel toe-capped cowboy boots from a nice little clothes spot called The King Of Fripp, an incredible bargain at just €50 for the pair, the result of some dope ass Pigeon-French haggling from me and the Parisian nonchalance of the dude behind the counter, who was immersed in French versions of popular rap songs and that piss-awful Jay-Z version of Forever Young.

Indeed, the middle bit of France that we were in was dead posh and classy, and everyone you saw looked like they'd stepped out of bloody Vogue or something. All the men had curly brown hair and sunglasses and a four-day-old dusting of Beard, and the women all looked like they'd been taught to walk. Well, obviously they'd all been taught to walk, but you know what I mean. The women of Paris on the whole are a very pretty and bosomy lot, so my girl fitted right in. My beard was far too awesome to blend in, however, and I suffered many long, envious stares from men on motorbikes with ladies sat behind them chain smoking cigarettes. Paris is fill of men and women riding around in pairs on motorcycles, chain smoking cigarettes.

I was excited to discover that Parisians really do love wine a whole bloody lot, as evidenced above. We had lots of wine while we were out there, and it was all grayte, thanks very much. I was also amazed to discover that Phil Collins still has a big ass career over there. He was on the radio in the taxi on the way from the airport, and Paris was covered in big ass posters advertising his new album and accompanying tour. He was in all the magazines as well, boasting about his many wives and his incomparable musical ability. The magazines were full of tits actually, and they even adorned the covers of the gossip rags! Here are Daisy Lowe's:

Groo.

You know what else I found odd about Paris? All the cop cars are knackered. Like, proper knackered. Like, losing a wanted level on GTA4 knackered. I met a policeman, he was actually very nice. We were cycling the wrong way down a road at midnight on one of those awesome bikes they have everywhere that you can rent for a single euro, thus avoiding those "piss cheap" cabs and having a proper adventure type thing, and I styled it out by doing my confused Englishman thing - "mon applogie, je suis un spasteeque angletere" - eliciting a frown, followed by a smile and a dismissal.

The bikes were actually our favourite thing about Paris. They're dead easy to hire, when you read the instructions - you just stick your debit card in a slot and type in a bunch of numbers and presto! Beeciclete! They are smaller than London's "Boris Bikes" as well, and they don't have adverts all over them. We rode ours all over the shop, escaping our posh hood to explore the hills and the river and and the bits Jeres described as, "a little rough and ready but that's where real people are and you can buy second hand shoes for one euro." That was Sacre Coeur, and while it didn't seem particularly rough to me, it did remind me of how I felt when I first walked across Brooklyn, and that heady, joyous rush is a thing I will never forget. I bloody loved it up there, and would move there in an instant, although I'd have to learn French first, obviously, as mine is bloody appalling. I spent a whole day saying "Bonsoir" to people, after hearing it the previous evening and thinking it to be a cooler way of saying hello than "Bonjour". My beloved declined to tell me it meant "good evening" until day three, for reasons best known to her self.

Still, I only made a bit of a tit of myself, and in the main I think we were both tres cool and awesome. I thought pretty much everything was "fantastique", much to my girl's amusement, but it was, and I say that anyway, so there. Nobody seemed to mind, and people kept stopping me to tell me how ace my shoes were, and a whole boatload of people waved at me from a bridge,and I got lost and found my way back using only French words and grunting whilst remaining totally supercool, so I felt like I was "walking with Allah", (as Malcolm X would have it). Indeed, I had many signs that we were "walking with Allah", (as Malcolm X would have it), like when I reclined on the bed in our hotel with the reflective ceiling and switched the telly on, and the first thing I saw was an advert for some chicken soundracked by Chilly Gonzales' Working Together.

French TV on Sunday afternoon is mental, full of superviolent gun dramas with comical blood effects, whole families getting merked, and loads of F-bombs. Flick through a gang of channels full of that stuff and you get some respite in the form of a similarly mental sit-down variety show full of old men crooning weird rock 'n' roll and torch ballads to a reception fit for Le Beatles Dans Le Sixties, bright orange 30-something ladies doing pretty 9 minute folk songs to what might generously be described as A Polite Smattering Of Applause, and crazy nutjobs in thunderbirds glasses, red bowties, braces and little straw butchers hats perched jauntily atop their bouncy dark curls, singing hardcore fucking SOUL MUSIC. To the sort of applause one might expect in a Roman amphitheatre just after the lions eat the slaves.

(Oh, and those last two plurals were really singulars, but I was deep within the flow, and this blog post has already taken far too much of my Sunday as it is)

The show's edits are really big on reaction shots from the other guests, who try to look enthusiastic, until everybody goes genuinely apeshit when some lithe young fellow with half a tub of bryclream on his head busts out The Longest And Most Vigorous Down On Knees Sax Solo I have seen since fucking Lost Boys, and that wasn't live.

I actually watched more TV in Paris than I have in years, but that's mainly because I stayed up until 3am one night watching the pop music video channel. They seem to enjoy a healthy mix of French VS English language stuff in their charts, a decidedly unhealthy amount of Black Eyed Peas And David Guetta songs, and a whole lot of nostalgia - I counted 9 songs in the top twenty that were direct pastiches of sixties and seventies records. And while the lyrical content seemed a pretty typical mix of Boy Meets Girl and I Just Wanna Party, the number one song was about a Black Panther.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHRaKaeDIWM

I said, "it doesn't feel like being in the new Nazi Germany, does it?" as we passed a gypsy begging on the side of the road. "Not really," said Charlotte, who'd just had her hair straightened, and as the granddaughter of a Romany Gypsy was essentially in disguise. We noticed that Parisian cleaners are mostly black, just like ours (but much better at their jobs - Paris is spotless, all the time). I wondered how long it would be until the tables turned once more, and how long it had really been since they were last the other way around. We argued about Aboriginals, who I pointed out were still hunted by whites in Australia as game as recently as the fifties or something. "They're not black!" protested Charlotte, with indignation. "What are they?" I demanded, "Blue?"

We didn't see the sex-contortion exhibition up by the Moulin Rouge, but we looked in the window. It was a beautiful day. Charlotte bought some flip flops for €5 (shoes, after all, being the only cheap things in Paris), and I binged on fizzy pop (€1.70 a can), knowing that I would be quitting the stuff on my return to England. We walked for hours, taking in the scenery, marvelling at the architecture, glad in the knowledge that there's a truly amazing (like New York is truly amazing) city practically on our doorstep, there for us to visit whenever we like, with the possibility of moving there so long as I can stay off the fizzy pop and learn the lingo, and Charlotte can afford to keep getting her hair straightened.

We got the train to Charles De Gaulles, which was cheap and fun and informative. I read a French magazine and understood a great deal of it, and Charlotte watched the pretty late-summer scenery fly by. Soon we were flying home - not on the big Air France super-plane we'd been expecting, but on a propeller powered sardine can no bigger than a school bus that resembled bloody Spitfire, and couldn't land for some reason, necessitating a 45 minute lap around Heathrow's airspace before we could make our bouncy decent (not that I minded, I was enthralled with my copy of Sci-Fi Art Essentials, from the makers of Imagine FX). When we got out our nostrils were filled with stink, and our eyes boggled at the filth that covers London's streets. What a dirty city this is! We'd better get our act together in time for the Staged Alien Invasion olympics, else it won't just be creepy and laughable cardinals slagging us off.

Thanks to the great Dr Hague & Dana, Jeres, and the staff of the Hotel du Vieux Saule, which has the illest shower I have ever seen. And thank you for keeping each other entertained with dope stuff in the comments. Winners will be announced tomorrow.

In A Valley of Cranes

Hello, good afternoon, and welcome. My name's Akira The Don. I live beneath the shadow of the London Olympic Development Grounds, in a valley of cranes, and I make pop music. Sometimes I draw things, like that lil' dude up top there. How are you today?

Excellent. Well, I am dandy, thank you. My bosom is heaving and I feel sick after another punishing gym workout and subsequent bike journey, fraught with danger. A bus forced me off the road and into the path of a raving psychotic teenage girl armed with a souped-up pram and a baby. She made to run me down, I made a terrifying arc, swerved with Magnificent Panache and No Brakes, and failed to kill, or be killed. She looked like she was swearing, and I rode off into the distance, dust billowing behind me like a wedding train. I was listening to The Dream's new album in my headphones. The guy basically does 12 part harmony contempi-R'n'B  over dirty south beats and arpeggios. He croons of nothing but acquiring and dissacquiring women, yet he puts such heart and passion into every performance, I can't help but be suckered into the whole experience. It is a thing of wonder and majesty to mine ears, so help me Sweet Baby Jesus.

Speaking of which, I went to the cinema with my fine-ass woman last night and acquiesced to her desires to watch Romantic French Nonsense, and I rather enjoyed that as well, even if the main character was a stupendous douche out of an annoying old car advert, and the soundtrack was rubbish. We tried Revels in the popcorn this time, and that worked rather splendidly also. Oh, sweet Baby Iesu And The Orphans, I love The Cinema. Of all of 21st Western Society's Trappings, The Cinema is my favourite. That or The Shower. I would be forlorn to have to live in a world without either.

Did I mention we have a car now? It is a lovely big ole blue Saab, which I belive to be Norweigan or something bike that. It is a vast, boat of a thing, that one doesn't so much seem to drive, rather aim in some direction or other and let it go... not that I know anything about driving, as I can't. But I shall learn! You watch.

The car was a gift from my girl's pops this Sunday. She was, as I may have mentioned, doing that Race For Life in Brighton with her big sister, in honour of her little sister, who got cancer last year (she got rid of it too, all praises due). And my girl actually ran the thing, 5k in total, as opposed to a good 90% of the 2000 plus attendees, who walked! Not that there's anything wrong with walking. I  am great at walking, but if I run for more than 8 minutes I get a stitch. And this particular course was half Extreme Hill, so I was bloody impressed, let me tell you.

Back here I discover that ATD24 is going down very well indeed. I am so thrilled you like it. I am so thrilled I like it! It could have gone either way once the dust had settled and the ringing in my ears had subsided. Happily, it is bloody classy, and I want it on LP. Of all the stuff I've done, I think this is most suited to being on a 12" slab of vinyl. Anyway, as with many of my projects this year I intent to focus in on a handful of the tracks on here - maybe even comp together videos for them from the footage - and I'd love to hear what songs you think should get that attention. If you haven't already, go grab the CD quality track separated bundle which went up yesterday and is - f0r now - free of charge.

And tune into the Doncast this afternoon! I will be talking about ATD24, amongst other things, and taking your questions, which you can leave in the comments here, or send them via email if you like.

Finally, I will be performing at the 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street, London, a week on Friday. I have no idea what I will be doing, as my band are on a filming job, so I need to come up with something. Maybe an acoustic set. Or just me and a drum machine. Or I could get a sea shanty troupe and do everything acapella. What do you reckon?

Dynamo!

Photos by Charlotte Whewell

Hey yo!

Sorry I haven't been speaking to you on this beautiful frontpage for a few days. I HAVE been updating the Blob Blog (go see, there be jewels), but I haven't been able to find the time to compose myself enough to hit this section in the appropriate manner. It has been a flurry of activity. Weddings, babies, and the inevitable opposite. You'll never walk alone. Life is beautiful and tragic all day every day.

What did I learn? I learned that toddlers love glove puppets, and they love bananas, and if you combine the two, you have Child Entertainment DYNAMITE. But we all knew that already, right?

I went to a wedding, where I saw the bride belly dancing, and her groom swinging flaming dog leads around his head. What a family they will make. They laid on fire lanterns for us to ignite, and I got mine off first! I am really good at fire. It proudly lead a whole pack of the wondrous things on their journey across London. Oh, to be in a balloon! Yeah, that's gonna be ace.

Anyway. Aside from all that sort of thing I have been Working. I stayed up all last night working on my remix of Si Cranstoun's awesome Dynamo. My remix takes shit back to school. Si and Iron Braydz are in the building right now re-vocalling my new beat. Braidz was telling me about how RZA showed his how to use an MPC. That is serious annecdotage right there. RZA told me a little about Mathematics, but I wish to Baby Jesus and all the orphans he'd showed me how to use an MPC. Imagine! Oh my DAYS!

Braidz also just did a track with Sean Price and M1 from dead prez. I can't wait to hear that shit.

Anyway. I am really enjoying making this thing. My beat is nuts and Braidz verse is off the deli counter. Check the OG:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOFsFs7bnjw

Now, think of the vibe I bought to remixes like Bare Necessities and The Joint. YES IT IS THAT KIND OF DOPE!

Elsewhere, I am starting to get really excited/nervous about ATD24, which kicks off at 3am on June 23rd. As previously announced, I will be recording my next mixtape in 24 hours, and broadcasting the whole process LIVE. We are now $84.59 away from our target of $298 to buy the Ustream Pro thing so we can broadcast with multiple cameras in HD and do transitions and shit and make it a flipping SHOW! EDIT: Bloody VAT! We need an extra 17.5%! BLAST!

Click button!

Or you can send money via paypal to zillazillazilla at gmail.com.

OK! Back to the lab. I might update this text with something else when I get a second, I feel it is missing something. Aside from all that, holla at me with your thoughts about what you'd like to see on ATD24. I'm gonna try and encapsulate the whole ATD Mixtape experience in 24 hours. What's an ATD mixtape mean to you? What do you wanna see the behind-the-scenes of? What's gotta be on there?

Let me know!

Peace and love brothers and sisters!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHDMHfs3yd4

This drop is dedicated to Great Uncle Derreck, may he Rest In Awesome. He really and truly was Great, and I feel honoured to have hung out with him and shared in the generous bounty of his cigarettes, and his memories.

Holiday Is Over. CAPTION CONTEST!

Oh my days! So, I just got back from a wonderful break in Malta with my girl and her step-dad and her Mam (who you can see taking a photo above), excited as heck to show off my tan, and the UK's only in the in the midst of a bloody HEATWAVE of BIBLICAL proportions! Tarnation!

Anyway, I have returned not only to the aforementioned heatwave, but to an inbox so fearsome it makes my very blood curdle. Therefore I declare this a

CAPTION CONTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and hand the floor over to you. As usual, leave your hilarious/sad/mental/weird captions in the comments section. A minor celebrity shall assist with the judging and the prize. GO GO GO!

WATCH: Gonzales VS Jarvis Cocker - Francophobia (Live At The Pigalle)

Yep, that's right. It was the first night of Gonzales' month long residency at swank central, The Pigalle in Picadilly last night, and, as you can see, his special guest was Jarvis Cocker.

It was grayte, obviously. As you can see. Alongside the two songs Gonz and Jarvo did, Gonz unveiled a new tune, from his forthcoming Boyz Noize mixed LP, which sees him adopting a new, spoken-work rap steez, on a brillaint joint about REVENGE..,. I think he might play that again next week, when his special guest is me.

Yeah, from Jarvis Cocker to Akira The Don. Thank Christ its sold out already, otherwise I'd have been worrying about nixing it right up until stage time on the night. This is gonna be my fourth time sharing a stage with with the big homie, and I am no less nervous than ever I was. We're gonna go out tonight and work out what to do. It must be great. Great great. Da-naaaa.

Also tonight, me and the band will be checking out the boat we're having a party on. So I'll let you know how that goes. I am excited about our party. It's been too long already, dammit.

Akira The Don & Fiends: Dawn of The Don. Live at The Gaff, London, May 29th

Dawn of The Don Flyer

IT'S THE DAWN OF THE DON!

And it is confirmed - we're filming the stage and crowd shots for the forthcoming I Am Not Dead (YEAH) zombie-flick. So come in your finest undead garb - or just dress how you normally would and try not to get a chunk bitten out of your arm.

Book online now for guaranteed entry! Ticket comes with FREE shiny full colour A4 gig poster!

£5 per ticket plus £1 paypal/postage per transaction (ie, if you buy 50 tickets, the paypal/postage charge is still but £1)

SORRY, WHAT IS IT? A PARTY! Featuring a live set from Akira The Don & full band, playing classics and new songs from his forthcoming LP, The Life Equation.

WHO ELSE IS PLAYING? Playing BRAND NEW FUTURE HITS LIVE, we are proud to present to you

Marvin The Martian & Pixel

And playing awesome pop music from The 40s to The Now, we are proud to announce DJ sets from:

Stephen Hague Joey2Tits Blonde Jeremy Deacon Zombiehamster Kill Witnesses

Wowzers! WHERE? WHEN? The Gaff 382 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PN o20 7609 3063

Friday, May 29th 2009 7pm till late £6 on the door, or £5 with a flyer - click the image above to open a copy that's big enough to print!

The Welsh Attitude Is No Good For Navigating London or How I Ended Up In Hospital Again

track After suffering a week long sinitus setback, I was looking forward to going super-hard this week, and finishing The Omega Sanction by Wednesday. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions (and babies, probably), and if you were to ask me my idea of hell, I'd probably say, "hospital."

So hospital it was, and if you want to know how I ended up there, you're in luck. If not, come back tomorrow when, with any luck, I'll be postulating gaily about my New Song, which Omega Sanction preorderers might well get a rough mix off tomorrow morning, unless some other foul luck befalls my person and I end up back in hell.

So, anyway. A by-product of growing up in a place where there are two buses a day, and getting to those buses requires walking for half an hour, is you get really into short-cuts, and you have no fear of fields, or bushes, or gates, or walls, or spiked fences. You laugh in the face of barbed wire and broken glass, and you do all you can to get from A to B in the manner of The Crow, flight be damned. So when I found myself in East London with a half-hour wait for the next train home on Sunday afternoon, I decided I'd walk. And when my walk took me up a dead-end road, rather than walking back, I thought, sod it, I'll climb that fence, and follow that river's edge. And when I reached ANOTHER dead end, in the shape of some tall-blue fencing, and gridded metal, I thought to find a way through that also. After much of this, I found myself on the grounds of the new Olympic Stadium, following a fox. The fox had little fear of man, it seemed, and the grounds were deserted - just dead diggers, piles of bricks and earth, and the giant skeleton of what will be the 2012 Olympic stadium looming up above me like a prehistoric UFO. I don't know why I imagined that the fox would lead me home, but there was something magical about it, and I often fancy that I am in a story. Of course it made sense. So I followed the fox, deeper and deeper into the grounds of The Olympics, and after a while I did indeed find myself close to where I wished to be. But between me and my destination was a 10-foot metal fence, topped with cruel spikes, fashioned like a 16th century monarch's crest. I followed the fence along for a while, looking for an opening, or a way over, and presently it curled along a railway track, and became shorter in stature. Leaned up against it was some rubble, and I thought it clever of me to drag some concrete blocks up the side of that rubble. I clambered up that, and gingerly placed my left foot between two jagged steel flowers, and pressured off with my right. The pile of rubble and concrete collapsed beneath me, and the flower daggers tore through my left trouser, leg, and a little of the leg itself, swinging me backwards like a rag-doll, where I dangled in the breeze, painfully impaled, and in some shock, as trains sped past, honking.

So I dragged my self back up, and gingerly prized my leg out from the spikes, and collapsed backwards into the rubble and the concrete, and cursed my idiocy. But it still didn't dawn on me that I could just retrace my steps and start off home again, without the "short" cut. No, I had to get over that fence. I followed that back a while, and eventually found a sweet enough looking spot, and built a ladder up the side of it, with some other bits of fence that were lying around, and managed to get over the thing, by falling into a tree, and falling out of the tree, and into a blackberry bush. I fought my way through that, and found myself, tragically enough, pretty much back where I'd started.

By the time I met my long-suffering girlfriend (who was looking beautiful and expecting a nice Spring-evening date) I realised that I was in some great agony, mostly around the neck/shoulder area, which only increased as the night went on. By midnight, it was so shocking in its intensity that it seemed that would have to go To Hospital, so off we went. 5 hours, two sets of x-rays, one injection of codeine and four increasingly professional opinions later and we were stood outside waiting for a taxi to take us home. At that point I announced that I felt sick, so my girl went off to get some water. On her return I was laying face down and bleeding on the pavement, leg twitching, and not quite sure how I'd gotten down there, so with the help of a kindly security man, we went back inside, where I was sick into one of those big grey egg-boxes they keep around for people to disscharge themsleves into.

hospital-neck

Eventually we got home, glasses bust, egg-shaped rapidly-darkening lump on forehead, and I didn't have a broken neck, which was good, but I did have some sprained neck muscle or something, that was making things like nodding, or moving, or lying down, or getting up, or swallowing so intensely painful that I was forced to make loud man-moans with some miserbale regularity, so my girl stayed home from work and fed me painkillers and lemon-flavoured water all day. That was awfully nice of her, I might have done something stupid like falling over in the shower and impaling myself on some taps  otherwise. Today the pain is less intense, but I still can't really do anything properly, and it dawns on me I was supposed to be recording The Omega Sanction's final song with Marvin and Example this afternoon, but what are you gonna do, eh? I guess we are going to have to be a little later than I'd liked, and for that I can but apologise.

So, yeah. I'm going back to bed now, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be in less pain, and shall be able to do useful things like mix records, and send emails. In the meantime, I would be very interested to hear of foolish scrapes that you, dear reader, have gotten yourself into, as mine wasn't even very funny, let alone entertaining. So, yeah. Tell me stories, And enjoy this beautiful day.

The First Meeting Of The Featured Artists Coalition

Where's Wally? So, me and the Jee Bay went down to Heaven in Charing Cross to the first meeting of the Featured Artists Coalition yesterday. Me in town, two days on the trot. Madness. The weather was clement, and we met in a nice little wine bar around the corner, and got a bottle of the house red, and chopped it up about collecive consciousness, and Idea Space, and Steam, and Motive, and all that good shit.

Then we went Heaven. There was a buttload of paparazzi swine outside, but they werent allowed inside, so people weren't preening too much. It was a pretty nice vibe, all things considering. The bar was serving tea. I got some plastic cups, and we sat ourselves down on some fold-up chairs near the front of the stage and poured ourselves some wine. Then we decided that see through plastic cups might be a little conspicuous, and we didn't want any trouble, so I went to get some paper cups. On the way back I noticed Mr Sroobious Pip was sat on his own behind us, studious studying the event literature, so I said hi. He looked thirsty, so we gave him some of our wine. His beard has gotten epic.

Presently the show started, with some music, and a projected video about the interwebs, networking, STEAMCULTURE and all the stuff we'd been talking about in the wine bar, really, which is the sort of thing that happens just about every day. The FAC's public faces, Billy Bragg, Ed O'Brien from Radiohead , Kate Nash and all round Blur-drumming, plane-flying, animation-making politikal superstar Dave Rowntree were introduced, and took turns to say why they were doing the damn thang. Billy had a cold, poor love, but spoke passionately about artists' rights in The Brave New Digi World, and the importance of backing the PRS, and fighting the Major Labels, the Googles and the Nokias of the world for Fair Bucks and a say in what they do with our tunes. Ed gave a brief, but succinct speech about his experiences with Radiohead, and how that's lead him to believe so strongly in the importance of musicians having a say in what happens to their music. Kate Nash filled everybody in on the moneystuff, and Dave waxed elegant about the Big Picture. Video greetings from a number of FAC types who couldn't make it, like the gloriously pointy-beared Peter Gabriel, and the awesome Jazzie B were shown, to varying degrees of applause.

Afterwards they all took questions from the Floor. Parlimentarianism has evidently done well for Dave, who spoke easily and fluently about the plight and the right of The Artist, who he felt didn't just deserve a seat at the table - sheeet, its their table... Between the well versed responses of Mr Dave and Mr Billy, Poor Kate couldn't get a word in edgewise. Ed smiled, beatifically, like Buddah.

Wee Frannie Healy from Travis wondered if the ISP's shouldn't be paying up (word to Paylouder), and Billy pointed out that while there wasn't actually all that much dollar spare in that department, the FAC would be going for theirs anyway.

Somebody asked if, since Peter Gabriel was a member of the FAC, he'd be paying him back the money he said Gabriel's Real World had stole from him, and pointed out that a number of people in the room were the same music industry swine that'd been cockblocking him all these years, and the FAC were supposed to be fighting.

I asked if we couldn't come up with a better word for our peoples than "fans", given its disrespectful, segregationist connotations, which proved contentious (as did my suggestion that people's eagerness to "steal" music might be related to musicans' eagerness to rampage about the place like landed gentry), but it was agreed that an effort would be made. Billy suggested "audience", and Mr Mick Jones, formerly of The Clash, asked me if I didn't think "comrades" was the way to go.

It was nice to see Mick Jones, a lovely man. He suggested we play some more shows together. I don't think his partner in Carbon/Silicon Tony James, ex-Siegue Sigue Sputnik likes me much though, and I can't think why. Perhaps I was drunk around him once. That can go either way, depending on the wind, and other such factors. Ergo bibamus.

Anyway. For what its worth, I believe in most of what what the FAC are trying to achieve, in principle - importantly the FAC agrees that criminalising those that enjoy the music we make is Wrong and Dumb. And one of the main things they want to do is educate and assist young musicians, so that they don't get Fucked Over By Swine. Which is crucial. So I have become a member, which isn't the sort of thing I tend to do, coming from the Groucho Marks school of thought on such things. But as Dave Rowntree pointed out, history is made by those that bother to turn up. I can hardly sit around moaning about the music industry on here all day when there's an opportunity to help change things. Similarly, if the FAC doesn't turn out to be what it says it wants to be, I can't complain if I refrain from taking part. Well, I could, I suppose. But that would be super-lame. And I have no intention of being super-lame. So there!

OK. In other news, Artrocker have some pics from the Example video shoot. Opposite of lame. And that guy who threw his shoes at George Bush got three years. Dictionary definition lame. "[Iraqi Prime minister] Maliki is the son of a dog!” one woman screamed on hearing the verdict. “Maliki is an agent of Bush!” yelled somone else. Well, duh.

In less depressing news, the record Mercury Rev are giving away on their website is really good. No singing, just lush noises. Win.